Friday, 19 December 2014

Christmas cheer

I've been rather neglectful of my blog lately so just dipping in to say I'm still here. I've been trying to read your blogs and leaving comments but time is just running away at the moment. I've been very busy crafting and making gifts for friends and family. I enjoy book-binding and love making journals and albums for myself. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest and those who use it also will know it can be very addictive! So I seem to spend more time looking and drooling over the fabulous books I could make, than I am actually making them. But hey ho I'm enjoying myself.

I am very well prepared for Christmas this year too - everything you could possibly think of has been done - baking



 gifts bought/made and wrapped,



tree and decs up













(and not forgetting to take a break to listen to Mr Buble's Christmas album whilst sipping a favourite tipple!! )



....as well as a freezer full to breaking point with food. The reason being, that we have treated ourselves to a long weekend away with friends to Harrogate in Yorkshire, leaving on Saturday and arriving home during the evening before Christmas Eve! We've never been before and are looking forward to this tremendously as well as visiting York itself. Betty's tea shop is calling too.

If I don't get a chance beforehand I'd like to wish all my lovely blogging friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Blessed 2015. Thank you all for being there throughout the year - giving inspiration, motivation, writing your very appreciated comments and sharing your lives with me.

Before I go I spotted this outside our village post office today - how cute is this



Seasons greetings to you all dear friends.

Patricia xx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Reflections....

As the end of the year is drawing to a close, I thought I'd share 
the Reflections Jar that I created back in January. 



I love the idea of Thanksgiving Day but its not something that we (my family) really celebrate here in the UK.  



I thought it would be a great way of remembering all the little things in life such as random acts of kindness by friends and family....



 ....spontaneous decision making - a picnic, a barbecue, a road trip 
or a walk along the beach



....remembering all the people and places that made me happy - 
my grandchildren, family, friends, holidays



What better way of cheering up a wet, miserable day (as it is today) than taking the jar off the shelf and sifting through all the little notes and reflecting on the memories of the year gone by and remembering how thankful I am.


Bye for now
P x


Monday, 1 December 2014

Advent

As a rule I don't put any decs out or tree up until at least the first weekend in December, a little later if I can get away with it. However as it's the 1st today and I made this lovely Advent Calendar at my blogging friend Sandie's workshop last month, I really needed to put it on show today in my dining room. So here's a little sneak preview.



Each little house is individually cut


and decorated in whichever way we wished


it's all joined together at the back with ribbon


It was such good fun and we let our imagination run away with us


So - as this is the start of Advent and the Christmas Spirit
has crept up on me



maybe I will get those decs out after all!



I dare anyone to touch it - let alone breathe on it - as I had a tad trouble
keeping it upright on my polished sideboard


Have a great week everyone. See you soon.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

All quiet on the Western Front

Today - on the eleventh day of the eleventh month I want to share a trip we made in September, when we took a long awaited guided coach tour with friends to Northern France and Belgium touring the Battlefields and Cemeteries of The Great War. I can't put into words how humbling this trip was and how much about the history of the war we learnt in just four days.






Our tour started in Flanders around the Belgian city of Ypres, where we visited the preserved trenches at Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum, some of the original WW1 trenches still surviving in Flanders. We saw an amazing collection of relics and photos and  were able to walk through many of the trenches.





We then went to the battlefields around Hill 62, one of the most fought over corners of the Ypres area after which we visited the Tyne Cot Cemetery, the largest British war cemetery in the world with just under 12,000 individual graves and a memorial wall which carries another 33,000 soldiers with no known grave.



I've never seen anything quite like it in all my life - so very humbling


Our day ended in Ypres where we attended the moving Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial.  At 8pm every evening, buglers of the local volunteer fire brigade sound the Last Post. This tradition began in 1928 and, with the exception of the period of the Seond World War when Ypres was occupied, has taken place every night since. The 30,000th occasion for this solemn event takes place on 9th July 2015.


This memorial records another 55,000 soldiers missing in the battles at
Ypres and Passchendaele 




We spent a few hours strolling around the bustling city of Ypres 
and enjoyed dinner at a pavement cafe before returning to our hotel.




The following day we went to The Somme. The Battle of the Somme began on a summer's day in July 1916 and ended in a snowstorm four and a half months later during which time 60,000 soldiers became casualties either dead or wounded. It was and still remains the black day of the British Army.


Other battlefields included Devil's Wood, Peronne, Newfoundland Park, The Lochnagar Crater and our day ended with a visit to the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing  - a massive arched structure with large laurel wreaths carved on top of the pillars. This memorial, designed by Edwin Lutyens is the largest of the Memorials to the Missing, and the last on the Western Front to be unveiled. Over 72,000 names of soldiers missing on the Somme are commemorated here. 



Most of these cemeteries are situated on the actual battlefields themselves. It's so hard to imagine the suffering and courage of those days when looking at the peaceful fields and woods today.



*******

Last weekend on Remembrance Sunday we popped into London to see the Poppies at the Tower of London - another very humbling experience.




"At the going down of the sun, 
and in the morning, 
we will remember them"



Thursday, 30 October 2014

A walk on Thundersley Common

Just a quick post that I thought I'd share with you. I've just come back from a very impromptu but thoroughly enjoyable walk, leaving him-indoors doing the things that him-indoors wanted to do. It was such a gloriously mild afternoon it just had to be done. After the dull rainy days we've had recently it was a real pleasure to get out - plus I'm on a mission to get fit and what better way to go about it. Watch this space.




I lost count of all the birds I could hear singing. 


The fallen leaves were in abundance 


and very damp, but everything
 smelled of that lovely woody, autumnal mustiness


Several dog-walkers bid me good afternoon and I enjoyed taking in the fresh air.



 this cheeky little chappy followed me for some time and 
actually stood on my toes for his picture to be taken - so tame.




On my way back through the village I spotted this - a mini pop-up library for villagers to make use of - how cool is that.










Bye for now, see you soon x




Monday, 20 October 2014

Never a dull moment




 

I'd had my morning stroll around the garden and was having a quiet cup of coffee whilst reading the Sunday papers when our friendly neighbourhood pair of squirrels decided to come out to play.  Not content with the nuts we put out for them on a table by the fence, as always they found it fun to play on the bird feeders and boxes etc. 


One squirrel we call Superman -  because he doesn't only jump from one feeder to the other - a good metre away, he literally leaps through the air to get what he wants before the birds get there. Of course he's a lot bigger than they are so he wins every time.















These squirrels give us such a lot of pleasure all year round - we spend many afternoons watching their antics when they're either foraging for nuts and then burying them in our lawn (!!!) or chasing along our fence to see who gets to the nuts first.


This one was actually posing for the photo I took through my French windows. He sat there for ages as though he was waiting for my camera to snap him.


Thank you for all your comments you left on my last post - they mean a lot and are much appreciated.

Have a good week.